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Full text of "Knight Letter No. 55"

Stuff aod NoDsense at Spring Meeting 

On a fine spring afternoon, April 1 9th, after a lunch 
at the Knickerbocker Grill featuring some enormous mush- 
room sandwiches which had little noticeable effect on 
anyone's size, we met in the Readers' Room of the Fales 
Library at New York University in Washington Square, which 
holds the esteemed Berol collection of Carroll material, the 
door to which, in a perverse tribute to Alice's experience, 
remained locked throughout. 

The first speaker, Chatham Ewing of Yeshiva Uni- 
versity, a doctoral candidate specializing in ''Nineteenth Cen- 
tury Nonsense Writings", delivered an arid, effete and decid- 
edly unfunny look at Carroll's humor. It was my impression 
that he seemed much more preoccupied with throwing out 
phrases and the names of writers he'd like us to believe he 
has read than presenting their arguments. Some interesting 
points were made, however. 

He began by quoting at length from Donald Rackin's 
"Blind Rage", which left Dr. Rackin, who was in the audience, 
a bit bemused. The Alice books came out in a time when the 
Industrial Revolution, Darwininsra, and Capitalism were com- 
bining to form a terrifying situation for average citizens, who 
suddenly found themselves in a game whose rules were un- 
known; an age paradoxically called "The Enlightenment". It 
was this entry into an ominous and morally unintelligible 
universe, this "existential assertion in the face of pure confu- 
sion" that is the root of laughter, Ewing (via Rackin) feels. 

The "Enlightenment" involved the progressive 
alienation of men from the natural world. 

By using our vorpal swords to cut through the be- 
wildering Jabberwock of academic cant, it seemed Mr. Ewing 
was raising (or reiterating) two points: one, that humor is a 
reaction to terror and confiision. in this case the acquisition 
of language; and two, that Carroll had an uncannily accurate 
ear for that process. 

Carroll was an astute observer of child psychology 
and a realistic (not surrealistic, as is generally thought) re- 
corder of the child's adventures in mastering a language. 

A child at seven begins the linguistic imposition of 
order on confusion, and sometimes produces "fusive" 
(Carroll's "portmanteau") words. The Alice texts objectify 
this process. 



Humor is a dialog between parent and child, writer 
and reader; and laughter is a balm against meaninglessness. 
One can somewhat assuage the terror of lemguage through 
worldplay, a solace through the source of anguish. 

"Jabberwocky" is a model of the child's experience 
of language acquisition - a dramatic re-creation, as exempli- 
fied by the Gnat's conversation. What starts out as babble 
begins to make sense. Here he gave a nod to notions of 
signification (the structuralist methodologies of Barthes and 
de Saussure). 

The subsequent question and answer session liv- 
ened things up. Professor Guiliano pointed out that the ter- 
ror associated with these books was the reader's, not Alice's. 
Joel shared his account of his being, as a lad, more fright- 
ened by the sword-wielding child than the beast he had slain. 

Next, Jeff Ellis, a young, spirited speaker and alum- 
nus of NYU (who signs his artistic creations "Jeph") began 
with a dramatic reading of "Hiawatha's Photographing" in 
his talk on the Victorian photographic process. He believes 
that if Carroll's writing had not eclipsed his photographic 
studies, it is that for which he would be known today. 

Jeff reminded us of the extraordinary difficulties of 
the Victorian photographic process: the clumsy apparati, the 
subjects having to hold perfectly still for 15-90 seconds, the 
colloidon (glass) process which required many chemicals to 
be mixed perfectly and held to within strict standards of tem- 
perature and cleanliness, the 8x10 glass negatives, the vis- 
cous fluids which had to be evenly spaced on the plate, and 
the entire ritual which was time-consuming and distracting 
to the subject. Despite all this, his pictures (some 2,500 in his 
lifetime), are stellar examples of naturalness and art. 

Keeping one's subjects amused was a major trial for 
most photographers, but one can only imagine that having 
an inspired Lewis Carroll present to extemporize little stories 
into the porches of tiny ears somewhat ameliorated that situ- 
ation. 

Jeff distinguished Carroll's oeifvre between those 
built around the desires of his subjects (usually adults, some- 
times celebrated) who where concerned with their image and 
dictated their aspirations to him, which resulted in stiff, 
awkward shots (a process documented in the above op. cit.); 
and those in which Carroll had creative control (usually over 
children), which produced warm and natural results. 



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THE RABBIT HOLE.. 



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Dodgson learned the process from his beloved 
Uncle Skeffington around 1 855, which was near die very be- 
ginning of photography, and eventually had a studio built 
on top of his rooms at Oxford. His output ranged from his 
first pictures of the countryside and his family to the elabo- 
rately costumed fantasies starring his lively young playmates. 

Jeff apotheosized on Carroll's portrait of the eleven- 
year-old Agnes Grace Weld, Tennyson's niece. The picture 
can be seen in two parts - a half-shadowed side betraying her 
future adult "wickedness" (the child as temptress), holding a 
gray ("tainted") dove; and a sweet innocent side, in full light. 

He finished by reading of "A Photographer's Day 
Out" which covers some of the same territory as "Hiawatha's 
Photographing", with the addition of the photographer's 
pursuit of the divine young Amelia, and its metaphors of the 
impossibility of perfection and the capturing of Art. 

Again, a lively Q&A period followed. Morton 
Cohen didn't believe CLD could have used his "Glass House" 
in the English vsdnters due to the darkened air caused by the 
burning of coal, and therefore his pictures were always done 
in springtime, and also reminded us of the many fine pictures 
Carroll did of young boys, which somewhat dispels another 
myth. Dodgson also hated Julia Margaret Cameron's work, 
as he was a realist and she was a romantic who took deliber- 
ately fuzzy pictures. A discussion ensued about why he gave 
up photography, ranging from speculation on his lost spirit 
to the changing ethos of his day. 

Joel began his introduction of our final speaker by 
remarking that Carroll scholarship has evolved to the point 
where secondary sources are worthy of study, and none so 
much as Martin Gardner. Professor Fran Abeles presented a 
tribute to him, beginning with quoting a web page which 
calls Lewis Carroll "the Martin Gardner of his day" (?!). 
Martin's contributions are legion - as the premier annotator, 
popularizer, and explicator of Dodgson's recreational math- 
ematics, and one of the founders of our Society, he has done 
more than almost anyone to keep Carroll in the public eye. 

His books include The Annotated Alice, More An- 
notated Alice, The Annotated Snark, The Lewis Carroll 
Pitzzlebook, and many articles in the Scientific American. 
These are included in a personal bibliography which runs 68 
pages, in addition to a 22 page index of articles. Prolific does 
not begin to describe him. His Annotated Alice ( 1 960) mod- 
estly discleiimed that he had "nothing new to say." 

Gardner wrote the "Mathematical Games" column 
for Scientific A merican for 25 years, from 1 957- 1 98 1 , replac- 
ing for all intents and purposes, several periodicals which 
flourished in Dodgson's time, such £is Nature, Knowledge, 
and Mind. 

Fran gave us some examples of recreational math- 
ematics which Carroll had either invented or contributed to 
significantly, and which Gardner had brought to light. 

In the March 1 960 issue, he showed us Carroll's use 
of the Mdbius strip and Klein bottle in his works 
("Fortunatus's purse" in Sylvie and Bruno Concluded). 
Another puzzle from his Diaries (12/1 9/98) was "'to find three 



equal (in area) rational-sided right-angled triangles'. I found 
two, whose sides are 20, 2 1 , 29; 1 2, 35, 37; but could not find 
three." Actually, there are infinitely many, but the easiest 
solution he overlooked was the simple doubling of the ones 
he had found (involving a 42!). Another possible solution is 
15,112,113. 

A May 1967 article by Gardner described Carroll's 
method of finding the day of the week for any given day - a 
method which involved the memorization of certain tables, 
modular arithmetic, and a lot of apparent hocus-pocus all to 
be j)erformed inside one s head. It does indeed work, how- 
ever. 

Other obsessions (Dodgson, the lonely bachelor, 
had to invent "Pillow Problems" to battle his nocturnal "un- 
holy thoughts") include "Doublets" (changing one word to 
another a letter at a time, e.g. ape apt opt oat mat man) 
which he invented in 1 877, and double acrosfics (for instance 
the one published in Rhyme? and Reason whose fu^t verse 
was the famous "Yet what are all such gaieties to me..." (a 
Quadratic equation - the first of the clues to words whose 
initial letters spell out "Quasi-insanity" and whose final let- 
ters spell "Commemoration"). She also presented some vari- 
ants of "Doublets", such as Donald Knuth's "Jacob's Lad- 
der" where the words all had to be present in Bible verses. 
Carroll himself would have enjoyed that one. She challenged 
the audience to complete the puzzle: 

... not lift up a S W R D against... (Micah 4:3) 



...every man his S H A R E, and his... (1 Samuel 13:20) 

One solution appears on p. 11. 

Martin Gardner, charter member of the LCSN A, was 
fond of quoting from Finnegans Wake, that soup-tureen of 
wild wordplay which mentions Carroll so often. An audience 
member (ok, it was pointed out the Martin himself appeared 
there in a marvelous bit of prescience for which that work is 
known, in a footnote in the "Night Lessons" chapter whose 
fi)undation is a geometrical problem to be solved: "I have 
heard this word used by Martin Halpin, an old gardener from 
the Glens of Antrim who used to do odd jobs for my godfa- 
ther...". "Antrim!' is an anagram of "Martin" (something of 
which both Carroll and Gardner were fond) and the word to 
which the footnote is referring is, appropriate to an Alice 
lover, "hole". 

Many then adjourned to dinner and a play, "My 
Alice" presented by the Esperance Theatre Company in the 
West Village. To quote its author: "the Wonderland charac- 
ters are embodiments of Dodgson's own haunted psyche. I 
saw them as nightmarish. . .abrasive, aggressive, absurd, and 
sometimes cruel." I have been unable to find any playgoer 
who has anything remotely positive to say about their expe- 
rience, so there we will let that matter rest. 



Lewis Carroll by Jorge Luis Borges 

In the second chapter of Symbolic Logic (1892), 
C.L.Dodgson, whose name endures as Lewis Carroll, wrote 
that the universe consists ot things that can be arranged into 
classes, one of them being the set of impossible things. As 
an example, he gave the class of things that weigh more than 
a ton yet can be lifted by a child. 

If they did not truly exist, if they weren't already 
part of our happiness, we would say that the Alice books 
belong to that latter category. In effect, how was it possible 
to conceive a work that is no less enjoyable and welcoming 
than The Thousand and One Nights and, at the same time, is 
a machination of logical and metaphysical paradox? Alice 
dreams of the Red King, who is dreaming of her, and she is 
warned that if the King were to wake up, she would go out 
like a candle, because she is only a dream of the King that 
she herself is dreaming. Speaking of this mutual dream that 
may have no end, Martin Gardner recalls a certain fat woman 
who is painting a thin woman, who is painting a fat one, and 
so forth, ad infinitum. 

English literature and dreams keep an ancient friend- 
ship. The Venerable Bede states that the earliest English ix)et 
whose name is available to us, Caedmoo, composed his first 
poem in a dream; a triple dream of words, architecture, and 
music dictated to Coleridge the admirable fragment we know 
as "Kubla Kahn"; Stevenson declares that he dreamt the 
transformation of Jekyll into Hyde and the central scene of 
Olalla. In the examples that I have mentioned, the dream is 
an inventor of poetry; but works with dreams as subjects are 
innumerable, and among the more famous ones are the books 
left to us by Lewis Carroll. 

The two dreams of Alice continually border on 
nightmares. Tenniel's illustrations (which now are integral to 
the work but were not liked by Carroll) accent the ever-present 
suggestion of menace. At first sight, or in memory, the ad- 
ventures appear arbitrary and almost irresponsible; then we 
discover that they secretly enclose the strictness of chess 
and card games, which in their turn are also adventures of 
the imagination. Dodgson, as we know, was a mathematics 
professor at Oxford University; the logical-mathematical para- 
doxes that the works offer us do not forestall the magic which 
is there for children. From the backgroimd of the dreams, it 
projects a resigned and smiling melancholy; Alice's loneli- 
ness among her monsters reflects that of the celibate who 
wove the unforgettable fable - the solitude of a man who 
never risked love, and who had no friends other than a few 
young girls whom time was stealing away from him; and had 
no pleasures other than photography, which was a less ap- 
preciated art in those days. To this we have to add, of course, 
the abstract speculations and the invention and execution of 
a personal mythology, which now fortunately belongs to us 
alL 

There remains another zone that I, incapable, can- 
not descry, and which is despised by the learned: the zone of 
the "pillow problems" which he contrived for sleepless nights 
and for keeping away, as he confessed, bad thoughts. The 



poor White Knight, inventor of useless things, is a deliber- 
ate self-portrait and a projection, maybe involuntary, of that 
certain other provincial gentleman who tried to be Don 
(Quixote. 

The somewhat perverse genius of William Faulkner 
has taught present-day writers to play with time. It will suf- 
fice that I mention the ingenious dramas of Priestley. Carroll 
had already written of the Unicom revealing to Alice the 
correct modus operandi to serve plum-cake to the guests: 
first you hand it round, and then you cut it. The White Queen 
burst into a scream because she knows that she shall prick a 
fmger, and that the finger will bleed before being pricked. At 
the same time, she remembers clearly the events of the com- 
ing week. The Messenger is in jail before being judged for a 
crime which he will commit after having been sentenced by 
the judge. Stopped time is there as well as reversible time. In 
the house of the Mad Hatter, it is always six o'clock in the 
afternoon; it is tea time and cups are emptied and filled. 

Previously, writers attempted first and foremost to 
catch the interest or emotion of the reader; now, due to the 
influence of the history of literature, they try experiments 
that assure the permanence, or even the fleeting mention, of 
their names. Carroll's first experiment, the two Alice books, 
was fortunate in that nobody thought it "experimental" and 
most judged it to be very easy. Of his last one, Sylvie and 
5rM/jo (1889-1893) one only can honestly affirm that h was 
an experiment. Carroll had observed that the majority, per- 
haps the totality, of books originate from a preconceived 
argument whose details the author inserts later. Thus he re- 
solved to reverse the process and write down the 
happenstances which his days and dreams dictated to him, 
and to organize them only afterwards. He devoted ten long 
years to shape these heterogeneous forms which, he writes, 
gave him a clear and overwhelming imderstanding of the 
word chaos. He rarely inserted into his work the one or an- 
other line which would serve as the necessary nexus. Filling 
a determined number of pages with a storyline and verbiage 
seemed to him like a slavery to which, as he did not care for 
fame or money, he did not have to submit. 

To that singular theory that I have just outlined, I 
add another: he assumed the existence of fairies and their 
occasional palpability in wakefulness or in dreams, and the 
reciprocal exchange between the everyday life and the 
fantastical worlds. 

No one, not even the unjustly forgotten Fritz 
Mauthner, distrusted language so much. Puns are, in gen- 
eral, merely a foolish ostentation of wit ("e/ aligero Dante", 
"'el culto pero no oculto Gongora" of Beiltasar (jracian) in 
Carroll, they discover the hidden ambiguities that lie in wait 
in common utterances. For example, the one he observes in 
the verb to see: 

He thought he saw an Argument 

That proved he was the Pope: 

He looked again, and found it was 

A Bar of Mottled Soap. 

"A fact so dread", he faintly said, 

"Extinguishes all hope!" 



Here he plays with the double meaning of the word 
see: "to discover a ratiocination'' is not the same as "to per- 
ceive a physical object". 

Those who write for children run the danger of be- 
ing contaminated by the puerile; the author is confused with 
his audience. This is the case with Jean de la Fontaine, 
Stevenson and Kipling. One knows that Stevenson wrote A 
Child's Garden of Verses but might forget that he also penned 
The Master of Ballantrae; Kipling has left us Just So Sto- 
ries, but, let us not forget, some of the most complex and 
tragic stories of our century as well. As far as Carroll is con- 
cerned, I have already said that the Alice books can be read 
and reread at very different levels, in accordance with the 
present custom. 

Of all the episodes the most unforgettable one is 
the White Knight's farewell. Perhaps in that moment the 
Knight is deeply touched because he cannot anymore ig- 
nore that he is only a dream of Alice's, as she herself is a 
dream of the Red King, and that he is at the point of vanish- 
ing. At the same time, the Knight is Lewis Carroll who says 
good-bye to the beloved dreams that filled his solitude. It is 
appropriate to remember the melancholy of Miguel de 
Cervantes when he says good-by forever to his and our friend, 
Alonso Quijano, "the one who, amidst the compassion and 
tears of all those present, gave up his spirit, by that I mean, 
he died." 

J.L.B. 



Contents ©1997 Estate of Jorge Luis Borges 

Translation ©1997 LC.S.N.A. 

Translated from the Spanish by Immo C GUnzerodt 

Edited by Mark Burstein 

with the assistance of 

Eduardo Stilman and Leslie Allen 

Annotations by the editor 

in his Annotcaed Alice, Gardner mentions this Saul Steinberg cartoon 

^ Anglo-Saxon poet, ft. A.D. 670 

a short story published in 1885, dealing with degeneration and the- 
matically consonant with Jekyll and Hyde 

* J.B.Priestley (1894-1984), English avant-garde playwright ("The 
Glass Cage", 1957), critical philosopher {Literature and WeUern Man) 
and author (Benighted, made into the Boris KarlofT classic "The Old 
Dark House") 

^ Carroll's Preface to Sylvie and Bruno delineates the process of how 
his little scraps of paper found him "in possession of a huge unwieldy 
mass of litterature — if the reader will kindly excuse the spelling — 
which only needed stringing together..." 

^ Fritz Mauthner (1849-1923), Bohemian language critic, theorist, 
and philosopher 

^ Bahasar Gracian (I60I-S6), a Jesuit scholar known for his maxims, 
puns here with: "e/ aligero [winged, swift) Danie" [Alighieri], and by 
contrasting culture (cullo) with the occult (ocullo) when discussing 
Luis de Gdngora y Argote (1561-1627), a Spanish poet famous for his 
beautifiil sonnets 

an 1888 swashbuckler of a novel 

"that certain other provincial gentleman" referred to earlier 



Eduardo Stilman 

An eMail correspondence of late (see KL S3) has 
brought two treasures to our attention: the first is the pre- 
ceding essay by Jorge Luis Borges, and the second is 
Eduardo Stilman, an Argentine short-story writer who has 
been celebrated with a host of exceptional honors in his 
country and to whose translation of the Alice books into 
Spanish the essay served as prologue. 

Stilman writes, "My translation of the Alice books 
wras published the first time in July, 1 968 (I am an ^ed, aged 
man bom in 1938) by Editorial Brujula, without the Borges 
foreword. It was — I think — the first complete translation 
into Spanish with some annotations; at first I signed the 
translation with a pseudonym (Elias Gallo), but from the sec- 
ond edition on, I began to sign it with my real name." 

It was an extraordinary and rare success: the Alice 
volumes were best-sellers for weeks and weeks, standing 
alongside those of Garcia Marquez. Reviews of the transla- 
tions were also full of the highest praise. 

Eight years later, the two Alice books were pub- 
lished again, together in a single volume, by a new publisher: 
Aventuras de Alicia en el Pals de las Maravillas y A Travis 
del Espejo y lo que Alicia encontro alii, prdlogo de Jorge 
Luis Borges, traduccion y notas de Eduardo Stilman, 2a. 
edicidn, Ed. Corregidor, Buenos Aires, 1 976. 

Stilman, again: "In those days, Borges and I spoke 
from time to time about literature, tango, etc., and I had asked 
him for a foreword, which he generously wrote, dictated, and 
gave to me. 

Four or five years ago, the Fundacion Antorchas 
granted me a very nutritive fellowship for my declared pur- 
pose of working again on Carroll translations and for my ovm 
short stories. And when in November of '95 I won the La 
Nacion Annual Award for Literature for my short stories, 
with a jury that included Mario Vargas Llosa and Jose Donoso, 
I decided that I would spend the $1 5,000 prize moneys (and 
perhaps a little more; everything is very expensive in Argen- 
tina) publishing a new edition of my translations for the Carroll 
Centennial in 1 998. It will include the revised translations of 
the Alice books and new translations of the Snark, the Wasp 
in a Wig, and about 200 letters; that is to say: an essential, 
definitive, annotated, and readable Carroll for (I expect) the 
Spanish readers for the coming century. 

Of course, the notes will not have much news for 
English readers, although I plan to quote some interesting 
examples of Carroll's impromptu appearances in Latin- Ameri- 
can literature (Borges, Cortazar, Cabrera Infante, etc. ). I also 
hope to include an essay with my own views, and definitely 
the Borges piece. As everyone in my home is an editor, we 
work not only in literature, but in desktop publishing, and I 
am therefore intending to produce perhaps not a 'bibliophile' 
book, but certainly a decent one. If the budget allows it, it will 
include illustrated notes as well." 

Sr. Stilman has graciously given us permission, and 
secured the same from Borges' widow, Maria Kodama, to 
publish this translation. 



. 



Joe Brabant (1925-1997) 

by Andrew Malcolm 

Alice sighed wearily. "I think you might do some- 
thing better with the time," she said, "than wasting it 
in asking riddles that have no answers." 

"If you knew Time as well as 1 do," said the Hatter, 
"you wouldn't talk about wasting //. It's him." 

"I don't know what you mean," said Alice. 

"Of course you don'tl" the Hatter said, tossing his 
head contemptuously. "I dare say you never even spoke 
to Time." 

Like the Mad Hatter, Joe Brabant was obsessed with 
time. He was quite punctual and didn't like to waste a minute. 
Every Saturday he would make his rounds of the book stores 
in exactly the same order, searching for all and anything relat- 
ing to Alice. By the end of his life he had a collection of over 
ten thousand Carroll items • books, posters, photographs, 
newspaper articles, advertising art, letters, games, figurines, 
manuscripts, and so forth. 

Joseph Anthony Brabant was bom in 1925 in 
Wakawi, Saskatchewan, and grew up in the town of Duck 
Lake. At McGill University in Montreal, he received an un- 
dergraduate degree in classics, went on to be graduated in 
Law, and won a scholarship to study French Civilization in 
Paris. 

Joe then returned to Montreal and joined the Sun 
Life Insurance Company of Canada. In 1979, he moved with 
them to Toronto, and stayed with the company for forty years 
as House Councillor until his retirement in 1 990. His job gave 
him the opportunity to travel, during which he was constantly 
on the lookout for Alice material. His approach to work was 
diligent and methodical; to Alice, passionate. 

Retirement allowed him to spend much more time 
on Alice, and, together with illustrator George Walker and 
printer Bill Poole, he spent close to six years editing the 
Cheshire Cat Press edition of Alice s Adventures in Wonder- 
land. They would meet once a month, working on two or 
three pages at a time. This handmade book, with hand-set 
type and original woodcuts, was lavished with great care, 
and issued in a very limited edition. 

Joe's other projects included a companion Look- 
ing-Glass volume [which is nearly ready and will be com- 
pleted under the direction of Andrew Malcolm], a study of 
the Punch illustrations related to the Alice books, and an 
analysis of law as it was present in Carroll's classics. In May 
of 1 990, at the first LCSNA meeting held in Canada, he deliv- 
ered a legal opinion on "Would it be considered murder if 
Alice had left the child (pig-baby) with the duchess rather 
than taking it away with her?" and then played judge in the 
case. 

Toronto bookseller David Mason, who knew Joe 
for over thirty years, had this to say: "Everybody liked Joe. 
He was one of those dedicated collectors who make book- 
selling worthwhile. He was always courteous and straight- 
forward if, at first, a bit reserved. Later, as we got to know 



each other through niany transactions, his innate shyness 
lessened and he took to staying longer. In his last years, he 
dropped by my shop every Saturday, where we'd talk about 
books and life, sometimes for as long as two or three hours. 
1 will r^ly miss him." 

Nicholas Maes was Joe's ward and closest friend. 
When he was a boy, Joe tutored him in Latin and classical 
studies and Nicholas, having developed a keen interest in 
the subject, moved to Toronto with Joe to continue his stud- 
ies, where he now teaches classics at the University of Toronto. 

I'm a modest Carroll collector myself, and for years, 
I'd been making the rounds of book stores in Toronto. But 
every time I'd have wanted an important book, the answer 
always seemed to be "Of course, 1 have to show it to Joe 
first." I wondered who this Joe was, until one Saturday I 
decided to wait for him at Glenn's books. Sure enough, at two 
o'clock sharp, along came Joe. He was so generous that not 
only did he take me to lunch the following week, but gave me 
the Peter Newell Alice being held for him. (Later, when I was 
invited to see his collection, it was no great surprise that he 
already had a fme copy.) 

Joe left his entire collection, valued in excess of two 
million dollars, to the University of Toronto, Fisher Library 
Rare Book Collection. It is stimning to behold. 

The Lewis Carroll Society of Canada's first meeting, 
on May 4th of this year, was dedicated to Joe Brabant (who 
died on April 27th), and we do truly miss him and his devo- 
tion to all things Carrollian, and are determined to continue in 
the tradition that he inspired. 




[From Joel]: I don't know if Joe had any specific requests 
in regard to a memorial. The LCSNA has set up the Maxme 
Schaefer Memorial Fund to be used for outreach programs 
to children. I will be making a donation to this fund in 
remembrance of Joe Brabant, gentleman collector. That is 
how I thought of him. 



O Canada 



Alice's Adventures in Toronto 



We applaud the founding of the Lewis Carroll Soci- 
ety of Canada as a sister organization, but must wonder why 
they did not elect to form a Canadian Chapter of our Society, 
as was done with the West Coast Chapter a decade ago, 
which held its own meetings, had a newsletter, and so on. It 
is a bit awkward at this stage for us to change our name to 
"The Lewis Ceuroll Society ofNorth America Except Canada". 

I am jesting, of course, and know that our members 
will be as welcome to join the LCSC as theirs are in joining the 
LCSNA, but I do urge them to re-think this question. Founder 
Dayna McCausland writes "The LCSC was created not to 
compete with the LCSNA but to complement it (and fiilfill my 
creative impulses and give me some enthusiasts to talk to). 
The idea has been in my mind since the eighties and in 1996, 
I made time to start the experiment. I started it for Canadians, 
but it has attracted international interest that I did not expect. 
Before I began I contacted Joel for his feelings on the sepa- 
rate Society / chapter question. He seemed to want it to be 
separate so I went ahead. It is a very small and informal group 
and that gives us some differences. 1 am perfectly happy to 
change this if the LCSNA wants to adopt us or absorb us." 

Their inaugural meeting was held at an elegant Vic- 
torian building, the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto on May 
4th of this year, with an attendance of about fourteen. The 
first presentation by [a rather large, bearded] "Dodgson 
impersonator" named Donny Zaldin was "Lewis Carroll An- 
swers the Caterpillar (A Monology)" in which Dodgson, on 
a visit fit)m the hereafter, talked about his life and the fate of 
his creation in the ensuing years. 

After a tea break celebrating Alice's birthday, Philip 
Elliott gave a taik on "Wonderland and Looking-Glass Land: 
A Comparison" and discussed the differences in characters, 
flora and fauna. Afterwards, guests were invited to see a 
collection of Canadian Carrolliana, including the Cheshire 
Cat Press Alice, bound in carved wood, and full of surprises 
including a tiny chip which played "Twinkle, Twinkle" when 
the Tea Party page was opened. A keepsake reprinting "The 
Escape of Alice" by Vincent Starrett was presented to each 
person, and Copy #1 was signed by everyone present. They 
will be meeting twice a year. 

Dayna McCausland is the charming inspiratrix be- 
hind this convocation, and she produces a newsletter "White 
Rabbit Tales" which has had five issues to date. She can be 
reached at Box 32 1 , Erin, Ontario, NOB 1 TO, Canada. 




The Cheshire Cat Press has produced two exquisite 
volumes to date, and another is expected next year. Edited 
and with introductory material by the late Joe Brabant, they 
feature the superb wood engravings of George Walker. 

The first and third volumes are described in the ar- 
ticle on the opposite page; the second volume, Alice 's Ad- 
ventures in Toronto, came out in 1 991 in an edition of 1 77. It 
contains three sections: "Alice's Adventures", which con- 
tain the 96 wood engravings which were used in A W; "Alice's 
Misadventures", which are the 25 engravings not used, with 
explanations; and "Alice's Peradventures" which are some 
of the artist's preliminary sketches. 

The drawings were carved into blocks of either box- 
wood or Canadian maple, and are described as wood engrav- 
ings, not wood cuts; the difference being that the latter is 
carved on the plank grain of the wood, and the former is cut 
on the end grain of hard wood which offers the possibility of 
more detailed carving, a la Thomas Bewick. 

They were printed in various single colors in the 
two Alice books, and in the supernumerary volume in black 
and white. A few examples are reproduced in these pt^es. 

A few copies of Alice 's Adventures in Wonderland 
($350) and . . . Toronto ($ 1 50) are still available fix)m George 
Walker at 73 Berkshire Ave., Toronto ONT M4M 2Z6, Canada. 





Leaves from the Deanery Garden 

As a teacher of fifth grade children i am pleased to say I 
receive much from my membership in the LCSNA. 

The wide scope of information presented at meetings, the 
insightfiil cormections delivered in the Knight Letter, the 
warm, wonderful people I meet all combine to broaden my 
views and model the living act of loving the works of Lewis 
CanoU. 

Igniting a passion for literature and reviving the image of the 
people that created these treasures is a challenge to me in 
this day of the computer and television screen. The most 
powerful and memorable learning moments are still when 
people connect with a common purpose. 

I have received educational credit for attending LCSNA meet- 
ings. I have shared the wide variety of information I am gath- 
ering with colleagues. The meetings also give me perspec- 
tive of a much larger purpose of learning; that I can indulge 
myself! 

Very Truly Yours, 

Linda Thanas 
Concord, NH 

I have always been troubled by a small discrepancy 1 thought 
I had noticed in Through the Looking Glass, until I realized it 
wasn't necessarily a discrepancy at all. Now I'm intrigued 
and hopeful that some of you may help me take my little 
insight further. 

Near the beginning, the White Queen can read the entire 
note Alice writes in the White King's memo book (about the 
White Knight balancing very badly on the fireplace poker), 
but near the end of the book, the White Queen tells her she 
can only read words of one letter. Also, at the beginning of 
the book, the White Queen is bossy and organized, but near 
the end she is kind and charmingly scatterbrained. For a time, 
I thought this was just a mistake — maybe Lewis Carroll 
meant the bossy, literate Queen at the beginning to be the 
Red Queen, not the White. But fmally it occurred to me that 
all of this is explained by White Queen living backwards in 
time, as she tells Alice and as she demonstrates by putting a 
plaster on her fmger before she cuts herself. 

Her personality at the beginning of the book is how Carroll 
sees the White Queen as a grown-up, but at the end of the 
book she is still a charming child! Gee, it's depressing, isn't 
it, Carroll's vision of experience as something that makes a 
person less appealing?. Now I'm wondering if there are other 
examples of the White Queen's "backwards" development in 
the book. The Annotated Alice points out that she misses 
easy opportunities to put the Red King in check, for instance. 
I don't know much about chess, but I'm hoping someone out 
there does and will tell me if her moves make more sense 
backwards than forwards. Or do her sloppy clothes have 
anything to do with her backwardness? What about other 
aspects of her? 




Another example just occurred to me of Carroll spelling out 
his disappointment with children growing up. It's the baby 
turning into a pig, of course! When it's young, it's cute and 
Alice (Lewis) wants to cuddle it and care for it. But once it 
ages a little, it turns into the pig, and then Alice is happy to 
put it down and let it go. That's exactly what Dodgson did 
with his little girl friends when they grew too old for him, 
seems to me. Did he really think they turned into pigs? 

Thanks for your help, 

Chris Bentley 
mammalguy@aol.com 



I am a brand-new member of the Society, and extremely 
pleased to be. I have been a life-long Carrollian and have 
read everything both by and about him. I particularly cherish 
the contribution Mr. Morton Cohen made with his 
unprecedentedly perfect biography. I know that I haven't 
seen many Knight Letters or attended meetings yet, but you 
can be certain that my membership will be for life. I hope you 
won't tire of hearing from me; I love to write and exchange 
observations, and will probably comment on every Knight 
Letter. I feel that when several individuals offer opinions on 
a theme, insight is inevitably gained. That's why 1 would like 
to see, probably more than anything else, a regular "subject" 
or question offered with every issue, for which members may 
write in with their viewpoints and selected observations 
printed. These could range from things like "What is the best 
Alice chapter, and why?" or "To what extent did Charles 
Dodgson 's affection for her influence Alice Liddell's later 
life?" and so forth, with readers basing their responses on 
their own knowledge or impressions of Carroll and his work. 
Even when facts are laid forth (as in Cohen's indisputable 
book), different "takes" on them may be enlightening. These 
vyall stimulate learned Carrollians and possibly educate newer 
ones. 

For instance, if I were to conunent on the piece concerning 
Karoline Leach's purported discovery of material related to 
the cut pages of Dodgson's diary, and their implied connec- 
tions between Dodgson and Ina (as well as Miss Prickett), I 
would offer the opinion that Violet's strangely-phrased note 
(presuming it is authentic) may mean that Mrs. Liddell thought 
Dodgson was interested in courting Ina at the time of the 
Break, even if he wasn't. Mrs. Liddell was a highly suspi- 
cious person, and she may well have focused her concerns 
and imaginings on Ina at this time, Ina being of a more urgent 
age than Alice during this period. However, it seems to me 
unlikely that Dodgson had any true interest of this sort in 
Ina, since 1 863 was the peak period in which he was rhapso- 
dizing about Alice in his diaries, and when he wrote "Life's 
Pleasance" (published in TTLG in evolved form) about her. 
He writes of Alice a his "ideal child-friend"; there is little 
material of this kind concerning Ina. 




I wish to reiterate my affection and gratitude to the Society. It 
is like having a little of the English eighteen-hundreds alive 
in the hard-bitten, computerized American nineteen-nineties. 

Sincerely yours, 

William M. Schaefer 
Las Vegas NV (22 Feb 97) 

I'm not sure, when I write, to whom my letter is being ulti- 
mately directed, or to whom it should be. I like to offer my 
observations on everything in each Knight Letter just for 
the fun of it, and I really don't know whether I should be 
addressing Joel or Mark. I'm also uncertain as to who it is 
behind so much in each issue; for instance, is it, as I pre- 
sume, Joel taking to task Katherine Leach in AZ,#54? And is 
Joel the one whose replies are gathered among the "Leaves 
from the Deanery Garden"? 

Firstly, I would like to make a request. I know it sounds terri- 
bly "fan clubbish", but I would like it if each member got 
some sort of card proclaiming 
that membership. I would love 
to be able to pull on out of my 
wallet an say "Look, I'm a mem- 
ber of the LCSNA." I also want 
to see more member input in the 
Knight Letter, not merely the 
expert-level discourse of the 
Deanery pzige, but something by 
and from the everyman. I want 
to know what it is the members 
love about Lewis Carroll. I con- 
tinue to believe that a "theme" 
would bring interesting results. 

I'd like to offer some passing ob- 
servations on things that pop 
up at me from KLU54. One is 
Prof Landow's talk comparing 
fixed text and hypertext. That 
this was a feature of a Carollian 
meeting strikes me as a sign that 
the nineties are slowly but 

surely corrupting a world many of us joined the Society to 
take refuge in. Surely the word "web" crops up at least a 
dozen times per KL issues, another sign of the swift and sure 
technological answers we substitute for everything these 
days. The web is "cool", hip, interactive and fast. It can also 
be more of a public experience than a personal one. A book's 
charm lies in its simplicity, and on the writer's internal experi- 
ence of seeking out the perfect way of expressing his intent 
without relying on someone else's footnotes, books or mate- 
rials to "help the reader out", so to speak. Electronic writing, 
with all its easy shortcuts and supports for the attention- 
span deprived, is just one more nail in the coffin of classic 
creative writing, and 1 believe that Lewis Carroll would have 
regarded it in much the same way that he regarded dry-plate 




photography when it came along. Something also tells me 
that when printed and electronic media are offered side-by- 
side, the printed one suffers. Would the Knight Letter be a 
more thorough and exhaustive newsletter if the Society was 
deprived of its WWW home page? To really get in touch 
with Carroll, perhaps we should all try living a bit more Victo- 
rian. 

I don't always appreciate free verse (it's hard to, after the 
"Snark"), but 1 absolutely loved Stephanie Bolster's poem, 
and I will surely seek out White Stone: the Alice Poems. The 
quiet magic, and sense of forthcoming melancholy, gave "25 
April, 1 856" an honestly haunting feeling. It just shows how 
deeply felt the Lewis Carroll-Alice Liddell relationship is 
among so many observers, so long afterward. Bolster seems 
to have a great love for both her subjects. 

The letter by Ivor Wynne Jones revealing the exact wording 
of Katherine Leach's alleged discovery regarding the lost 
pages of the diary makes it clear how uiuemarkable her "dis- 
covery" was. The only state- 
ment of any note is "He is 
supposed by some to be 
courting Ina." The appropri- 
ately-named Leach conve- 
niently left out "by some" in 
her transcript. It strikes me as 
entirely believable that ob- 
servers witnessing Carroll's 
frequent visits to the Dean- 
ery during this peak period of 
his relationship with Alice 
might well presume his inter- 
est to be in the more 
"courtably aged" Ina or the 
governess. But for Leach to 
try to rewrite history and 
bend this scrap into meaning 
anything, let alone the ludi- 
crous suggestion that Carroll 
had an affair with Alice's 
mother, shows not only a lack 
of fidelity toward her subject 
and truth, but an almost predatory sense of exploitation. My 
highest regards to your properly acidic squashing of this 
Leach in "Ina-morata Redux". Consider our verdict consid- 
ered. 

Thanks for a solid issue. 

Sincerely yours, 

William M. Schaefer 

Las Vegas NV (7 April 1 997) 

William - it is indeed a pleasure to receive your long, hand- 
written epistles, as from a past century. I say that as I am 
typing your words into a word-processor on my Pentium, 
knowing frill well they will also go through my page-mak- 
ing sofrware to emerge in a camera-ready fryrmat fryr print- 




ing, a process that would take several people many days if 
they were doing the typesetting, layout, and so on by hand, 
but which I can do myself in a few hours. Which is to say, 
there is much positive about this modern world, to be tem- 
pered with an appreciation of fine books and fine writing. 

To answer your first question, "I" am Mark, the editor, and 
am responsible for all unsigned articles, editorial comments 
[which are italicized and enclosed in square brackets], the 
Deanery answers, and such like. I take direction and phi- 
losophy fi-om Joel, whose contributions to this journal are 
always explicitly credited. 

I like the idea of a membership card (but not a phone or 
credit card). I 'm sure it would be very inexpensive to pro- 
duce and could be distributed along with a future Knight 
Letter. Let 's bring this up at the next board meeting! 

The "Leaves fi-om the Deanery Garden " is intended for the 
general readership, and all are welcome to contribute. I 
haven 't pursued a "theme " idea so as not to discourage 
writers (who are lamentably few and far between) from dis- 
coursing on any subject they like, but I think that might be 
a new department. If any member out there would like to 
write on one of William 's ideas, I shall start a new comer in 
KLU56. 

Now, on to the "modern world" debate. Carroll was no 
Luddite, embracing new technology all his life (he was one 
of the first to use a typewriter, for instance), and inventing 
many ingenious devices himself His reaction to the new 
ways of processing photographs may have been a bit cur- 
mudgeonly, but it had changed for him the rhythms of an 
artistic process to which he was accustomed. Similarly, I 
always write serious pieces in longhand but happily use 
the computer for editing and revising. 

That having been said I must ask: what do you think of the 
telephone? The Web and eMail are more analogous to that 
contrivance than to a television, to which some find it sadly 
necessary to compare it. The Net is an extraordinarily 
productive, ingenious, and easy way to research material, 
for instance, if one approaches it with the same caution one 
would of any source - not to take anything as true merely 
because it is in print. But without it, the KL would not be 
able to get news of productions and products so quickly, 
and the Society has been found by many people through the 
WWW. Granted, there is no substitute for the feel of a finely- 
printed book in one s hands (and no one is more aware of 
that than L who has spent the last quarter-century collect- 
ing Carroll books alongside my father), but if I need to 
know how much a Yen is in U.S. dollars, to use an example 
from the last fifteen minutes, it s a few mouse-clicks away. 

But most importantly, it has re-introduced the prominence 
of the written word Before eMail, everyone just picked up 
the phone, but now whole new possibilities of correspon- 
dence have emerged, with their own standards. As in 
Dodgson 's England, when mail was delivered five times a 
day and could therefore be used for purposes other than the 
modern letter which may or may not arrive within a week 



eMail is by definition a medium for the literate, and corre- 
spondence is correspondence, whether by pen, pencil, type- 
writer, or pixels on a screen. 

Do please continue to write to us! Even in pen, which I must 
laboriously re-type, which brings us back to the beginning 
of this reply. No, seriously, thank you. 




The following series of letters appeared on the Lewis Carroll 
Discussion Group on the Web: 

In the Tenniel illustration for "you're nothing but a pack of 
cards", some of the cards appear to have letters on them. 
Does anyone know what they refer to? 

~ Dayna [McCausland] 

I have examined several printings of the Termiel illustration, 
from the recently published ones taken directly from the origi- 
nal wood engravings to some more densely printed ones 
(such as in Annotated Alice). My first impression on looking 
at the "originals" was that the markings on those three cards 
looked more like noses fix>m some vestigal faces, as the cards 
were morphing fix)m "human" back to a deck of cards. 

I do not believe that either Tenniel or the brothers Dalziel 
intended them to be a name or tribute (AMM?) such as are 
found in Hirschfeld's drawings. 

Mysteries abound. 

~ White Rabbit [Mark Burstein] 

I always thought they were mustaches anthropomorphizing 
the cards. They do look like AMM. What was Alexander 
Macmillan's middle initial? 

~ Joel Birenbaum 

I thought the letters were ARR not AMM. 

~ Dayna 

Another other curious thing in the card picture is that the 
card behind the six of spades, which is just barely visible, 
has very tiny letters printed on its left edge reading, "B. 
ROLLITZ. SC." What is that all about? 

~ BabyPig [Chris Bentley] 

This must be an insertion by a bored or glory-hungry printer. 
To which editions are you referring? 

~ White Rabbit 

1 have it in two editions, and it is plain as day in each. The 
first was published in 1941 by the Heritage Reprints, a divi- 
sion of the Heritage Press, New York. It includes both of the 
Alice books, with introductions to each by John T. Wmterich 
and "A Note From the Publisher" at the beginning explaining 
[in a rather Carrollian manner] that "This series of books 



has been made necessary by the government's wartime regu- 
lation that, whenever a book is reprinted, less paper must be 
used in the reprint." I also find it in the paperback version of 
the Complete Works: of Lewis Carroll with the introduction 
by Alexander WooUcott, published by Vintage Books in May, 
1976. [It's also seen in the original 1936 Modern Library 
hardcover ] Curiously, the "B.ROLLITZ" thing does not ap- 
pear in my oversized hardback version of the same book, 
titled The Complete Illustrated Lewis Carroll with the same 
Woollcott introduction, published in 1 991 by Gallery Books. 

-BabyPig 
TJie illustration is at right. Readers are invited to comment. 




I am a professional illustrator who has been working on a 
suite of fully colored illustrations to Alice 's Adventures. If 
you haven't yet seen them, please do check them out at 
http://www.wdc.net/~marshall/alice.html. 

I would be done with the book by now if it weren't for all the 
energy I've put into marketing. 1 hope to find a publisher by 
the end of summer so that it can be printed by the Lewis 
Carroll centennial, but finding that publisher is a time con- 
suming and draining job. Please let me know if you know 
anyone I should contact. This job of himting for a publisher 
has been keeping me fix)m doing more pieces. 

Thank you, 

Marshall Vandruff 

24656 Via Carlos 

Laguna Niguel, CA 92677-7604 

email: mv@marshallait.com 

Marshall s superbly crafted and ingeniously conceived il- 
lustrations would make a delightftjl edition. Any publish- 
ers out there? Leads? Suggestions? 





One possible solution to the ''Jacob's Ladder" problem, p.3 



...not lift up a S W O R 

The Ivord GOD halh s w R 

...sheq) that are even S H O R 

...beside Eloth. on the S H O R 

...every man his s H A R 



D against... (Micah 4:3) 
N by himself... (Amos 6:8) 
N. which came... (Song of 

Solomon 4:2) 
E of the Red... (I Kings 9:26) 
E, and his... (1 Samuel 13:20) 




Serendipity 



I think I read in at least two ways. First, by 

following, breathlessly, the events and the 

characters without stopping to notice the 

details. . .as when I read Rider Haggard, the 

Odyssey, Conan Doyle,. . . Karl May. 

Secondly, by careful exploration, scrutinizing 

the text to understand its raveled meaning, 

finding pleasure merely in the sound of the 

words or in the clues which the words did 

not wish to reveal, or in what I suspected 

was hidden deep in the story itself, something 

too terrible or too marvellous to be looked 

at. This second kind of reading — which had 

something of the quality of reading detective 

stories — I discovered in Lewis Carroll, in 

Dante, in Kipling, in Borges. 

Alberto Manguel 

A History of Reading 

Viking, 1996 



O&jf P©(©p^ sc 'QIp^^oi^ 



A Virtual Voyage 

3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke, Ballantine 
Books, 1997 

(After a millennium in space following HAL's at- 
tempt to dispatch him in the first book (and movie), 200 J, 
Frank Poole is retrieved, revived, and treated to the wonders 
of Fourth Millennium technology which includes a virtual 
ride on a robotic dragon, piloted by the beautiful Aurora 
McAuley, president of the Society for Creative Anachro- 
nisms, in an enormous room whose scenery is conjured up 
from the computer's gigantic database.) 

"He was not surprised that the ever-changing land- 
scapes below them were straight out of legend. Ali Baba had 
waved angrily at them, as they overtook his flying carpet, 
shouting, 'Can't you see where you're going?' Yet he must 
be a long way fi-om Baghdad, because the dreaming spires 
over which they now circled could only be Oxford. 

Aurora confirmed his guess as she pointed down: 
'That's the pub — the inn — where [C.S.] Lewis and Tolkien 
used to meet their fiiends, the Inklings. And look at the river — 
that boat just coming out fi-om the bridge — do you see the 
two little girls and the clergyman in it?' 

'Yes,' he shouted back against the gentle susurration 
of Draco's slipstream. 'And I suppose one of them is Alice.' 

Aurora turned and smiled at him over her shoulder: 
she seemed genuinely delighted." 

[But shouldn ^ that be three little girls and two adults?] 

The Dodgson Gravesites Project 

Katsuko Kasai, of the Lewis Carroll Society of Ja- 
pan, has organized a project to assist in the refurbishing of 
the gravesites of Dodgson. his brother Edwin, and his five 
sisters in time for the centenary, an idea originally suggested 
by Maijorie Williams of Guildford and the British LCS. To 
finance this much needed project, Ms. Kasai has contracted 
with a company to produce a set of audio tapes of famous 
Carrollians each reading a chapter of the book. She also has 
500 copies of the tape to sell with all of the profits going to 
the project. Yohan Publication Inc. of Tokyo will be selling 
them for ¥3500. It will include the text a leaflet on the readers 
and "Jabberwocky" in six different tongues: English, Japa- 
nese, Swedish, French, Dutch, and even classical Greek. The 
readers of AW, in order, are: Philip Dodgson Jaques, Morton 
Cohen, Anne Clark Amor, Richard Lancelyn Green, Selwyn 
Goodacre, Sir Christopher Pincent, Joel Birenbaum, Grian 
Sibley, Elizabeth Sewell, Francine Abeles, Stephanie Lovett 
Stoflfel, Edward Wakeling, and Donald Rackin. "Jabberwocky" 
readers are Philip Dodgson Jaques, Yasunari Takahashi, 




Christina Bjork, Evelyn Abeles, Au- 
gust Imholtz, and Nicolas van 
Alphen. 

When the first 500 copies 
have been sold, the restoration com- 
mittee will be paid ¥1 70,000 fix)m Yohan Publications. A total 
of £2,750 is the estimated repair cost; the tapes will bring in 
£750 and donations have already been already received to- 
taling £845, so a significant part of the fimding for this most 
worthy project has yet to be raised. Of course, you will want 
to order the tape ($35 from Joel Birenbaum, 2765 Shellingham 
Drive, Lisle IL 60532), but also please do consider sending a 
contribution directly to the Graves Restoring Project: Sarah 
Stanfield, Treasurer, at Acorns Dargate, Nr. Faversham, Kent, 
MEl 3 9HG, England. Or you may send them to The Graves 
Restoring Project c/o Lewis Carroll Society, 50 Lauderdale 
Mansions, Lauderdale Road, London W9 1 NE, England. 
Please submit donations either in US dollars drawn on a US 
bank, or UK pounds drawn on a UK bank. 

The Queens Have Their Day 

The Red Queen Principle 

This principle was proposed by the evolutionary 
biologist L. van Valen ("A New Evolutionary Law", Evolu- 
tionary Theory 1, 1973), and is based on the observation by 
the Red Queen that ""here, you see, it takes all the running 
you can do, to keep in the same place." The principle says 
that for an evolutionary system, continuing development is 
needed just in order to maintain its (relative) fitness. 

The most obvious example of this effect are the 
"arms races" between predators and prey, where the only 
way predators can compensate for a better defense by the 
prey {e.g. rabbits running faster) is by developing a better 
offense {e.g. foxes running faster). In this case we might con- 
sider the relative improvements (numing faster) to be also 
absolute improvements in fitness. 

However, the example of trees shows that in some 
cases the net effect of an "arms race" may also be an abso- 
lute decrease in fitness. Trees in a forest are normally com- 
peting for access to sunlight. If one tree grows a little bit 
taller than its neighbors it can capture part of their sunlight. 
This forces the other trees in turn to grow taller, in order not 
to be overshadowed. The net effect is that all trees tend to 
become taller and taller, yet still gather on average just the 
same amount of sunlight, while spending much more resources 
in order to sustain their increased height. This is an example 
of the problem of suboptimization: optimizing access to sun- 



light for each individual tree does not lead to optimal perfor- 
mance for the forest as a whole. 

In its emphasis on the stress that necessarily ac- 
companies evolutionary development, the "Red Queen Prin- 
ciple" is related to the generalized "Peter Principle". 

White Queen Psychology 

A new book White Queen Psychology and other 
Essays for Alice by Ruth Garrett Millikan (MIT Press, 1995, 0- 
262- 1 3288-5 HB, 0-262-63 1 62-8 PB) is a collection of articles 
growing out of her Language, Thought, and Other Biologi- 
cal Categories. The eponymous essay "White Queen Psy- 
chology; or The Last Myth of the Given" has the thesis "an 
intact thinker need not recognize that the semantic contents 
of two of her own thoughts is the same, even when this 
content is presented through an identical semantic mode of 
presentation. One result is that there can be no such thing as 
logical possibility known a priori. Rationality too depends 
upon the ability to reidentify throught content. Rationality 
too is not a priori, is not contained just in the head, but 
requires an appropriate environment. Nor can rationality be 
defined over 'narrow contents'. A seeming implication is that 
no science of psychology based on intentional-attitude as- 
criptions is possible. This follows, however, only if inten- 
tional psychology is falsely assimilated to the physical sci- 
ences, rather than to the biological and ecological sciences. 
Rationality is not a lawful occurrence but a biological norm 
effected in an integrated head-world system under biologi- 
cally ideal conditions." It is based on the White Queen's 
remark about believing impossible things for "half-an-hour a 
day." 

Lewis Carroll and Monty Hall 

by Sue Welsch 

What could Lewis Carroll and Monty Hall possibly 
have in common? 

There is a famous problem that has been written up 
since 1976 in mathematical and statistical journals called the 
"Monty Hall Problem". The problem goes something like this: 
Monty Hall used to host a famous day-time television game 
show called "Let's Make a Deal". Audience members dressed 
in crazy costumes and then got selected to compete for prizes 
in various games. One such game involved showing a con- 
testant three doors on stage. Behind one of these doors was 
a new car and behind each of the other two was a booby prize 
such as a goat. Monty Hall then would let a contestant choose 
one of the three doors. After the contestant picked a door, 
say door # 1 , then Monty Hall, who knew which door had the 
car, would open another door, say door #3, which revealed a 
goat. He would then offer to let the contestant switch doors. 
The mathematical question is "should the contestant 
switch?" 

Marilyn vos Savant, who purportedly has the high- 
est IQ in the world, and writes a column called "Ask Marilyn" 
for Parade magazine answered this question for her readers 
in 1991. Her answer was to switch, which resulted in over 



1 0,000 letters fk>m readers, over 90 percent of whom claimed 
that she was wrong, and that the correct probability of get- 
ting the car is 1/2 for each of the remaining doors. Many of 
these letters came fix>m mathematicians and statisticians. This 
seems the intuitive answer. However, Marilyn was correct 
with her explanation of why the contestant should always 
switch because the correct probability of getting the car is 2/ 
3 if the contestant switches. 

Mathematical journals and several Internet sites 
carry rigorous proofs of this, but the easiest way to see the 
correct answer is to just think of the probability never chang- 
ing from when the contestant originally chose door # 1 . His/ 
her original probability of winning the car was 1/3 and so it 
remains. Switching to the other door gives him/her a prob- 
ability of 2/3 of winning the car. 

All of the hoopla could have been avoided because 
Lewis Carroll solved a very similar problem in 1 887, over a 
hundred years earlier. His fifUi "pillow problem" reads: "A 
b^ contains one counter, known to be either white or black. 
A white counter is put in, the bag shaken, and a counter 
drawn out, which proves to be white. What is now the chance 
of drawing a white counter?" Again, the intuitive answer is 
1/2, but the correct answer is 2/3. Carroll gives a nice solution 
in his Pillow Problems: the chances for drawing the original 
counter are as follows: white =1/2*1 = 1/2; black =1/2*1/ 
2=1/4. Therefore, they are in the ratio of 2 to I , and the new 
probabilities are 2/3 and 1 /3 that the bag originally contained 
a white or black counter respectively, and so the chance of 
drawing a white counter is 2/3. 

Another way to prove both of these solutions to is 
to simulate them either with a computer program or with cards 
or chips. TTie correct probabilities are easily verified with any 
such simulation. 

Zelda Fitzgerald 

Zelda, An Illustrated Life: The Private World of Zelda 
Fitzgerald (Ahrams, $24.95) 

Zelda Fitzgerald was well known as the eccentric 
wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, but in fact she was much more, 
according to a new biography by Eleanor Lanahan, their 
granddaughter, who has written this volume about her life 
and art. In the nineteen-forties, Zelda, a talented amateur, 
painted a series of gouache illustrations to Alice s Adven- 
tures in Wonderland. 

"Her paintings are very playful and imaginative," 
Ms. Lanahan says of her grandmother's work. "The land- 
scapes are somewhat dreamlike. They're like remembered ro- 
mance, to me. And the fairy-tale pictures - their colors are 
still very vivid... A lot of her compositions are theatrical. 
They're like on a raised stage floor, and the characters are 
actors who are before you, waiting to perform." 

One of Zelda 's Alice paintings can be found at http:/ 
/www.pacpub.com/cultural/book/zelda/aiwi.html, and her 
painting of the Lobster Quadrille is in the Maier Museum of 
Randolph-Macon Women's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, 
next time you're in the neighborhood. 



Ravings from the Writing Desk 
of Joel Birenbaum 

I would like to applaud the spirit shown by two new 
members, Chantal Felix and Fernando Soto who came to the 
meeting in New York fix)m France and Saskatchewan, Canada, 
respectively. They are both graduate students doing research 
work on Carroll and I hope their enthusiasm is contagious. 

Now we are on the doorstep of the centenary of the 
death of Lewis Carroll on January 14th and even closer to the 
events related to this milepost. I received a preliminary sched- 
ule of activities for the Creativity Conference to be held at 
St John's University in CoUegeville, Minnesota on this com- 
ing October 17th and 18th. It looks fantastic - live perfor- 
mances, choral music, panel discussions, academic sessions, 
exhibits, and a keynote address by Morton Cohen. We will 
be participating in the conference and it will serve as our Fall 
meeting. The program is not fixed yet, but when it is final- 
ized, there will be a special general mailing to the membership 
with details including travel directions and information on 
lodging. Don't miss this opportunity! 

Speaking of such, the Spring meeting in New York 
on Saturday, March 28, 1998 will include speakers Nina M. 
Demurova, Donald Rackin, and perhaps Peter Heath at the 
Fales Library of NYU. A special dinner at the Century Club 
will honor Professor Morton N. Cohen. 

No column of mine would be complete without some 
mention of the WWW. My son Josh, the webmaster, was 
graduated this May, which means that we have moved our 
web site. Chance Whaley of Dreamscope has offered to host 
our web site and we are most gratefiil. The new address of 
the site is www.lewiscarroll.org. Yes, we have taken the plunge 
and registered our own domain, which means this should be 
the URL forever. In order for this site to be a success, we 
need your help. We need Carroll articles, art work, and any 
other usefiil information that will draw people to the site. 
Soon we will be organizing a web exhibit to honor the cente- 
nary of Carroll's death. Several organizations and individu- 
als have already promised material for this electronic exhibit. 
As the hosting organization, we should make sure we are 
well represented. I would like all of you talented folks out 
there to consider what you can contribute. If you need help 
with the technical aspects of this, I would be more than happy 
to oblige. When asked what does the LCSNA do, I would like 
to be able to point to this electronic exhibit as a shining 
example. 

Also we have a list of eMail addresses for some of 
our members. If you have changed your address or v^sh to 
add your electronic address, please send a message to 
jbirenbaum@lucent.com. 

Next year we will be electing a new slate of officers 
at the Fall meeting in California. If you wish to have a say in 
who gets nominated, you might want to volimteer to be on 
the nominating committee. That's where the power lies. This 
brings me to another point. If you have volunteered to help 
out before and have been ignored, let me assure you this was 
an oversight. Please remind me in what area you wished to 
help and we will rectify the mistake. Perhaps you would like 



to help with the arrangements for our meetings in New York 
or California next year. 

Now for the ravings. If you have not paid your 1 997 
dues yet, please do. Your dues cover the costs of the Knight 
Letter, mailings, honoraria, and a few small fixed costs. We 
would love to keep any and all who are interested in Carroll 
on our membership list, but if >'om do not pay your dues we 
will have to remove you fi"om our roles to keep our mailing 
costs down. For those who have paid, we do truly appreciate 
your support. 

A Reading for Maxine 

by Ellen Schaefer-Salins 

On Sunday, April 20th, about thirty people sat in a 
room at the Donnelt Library in New York City for a reading of 
Alice 's Adventures in Wonderland. About half of them were 
children, who were listening very intently to Stephanie 
Stoffel's voice. The rest of the crowd were parents and 
LCSNA members who had attended the Spring meeting the 
day before. Stephanie read for about forty minutes, and then 
each child was presented with a hardback copy of the book. 

To many people in the room this was just another 
library event to take their kids to. But for others in the room, 
this was a living memorial to a woman who dedicated a great 
deal of her life to the LCSNA and pursuing a collection of 
CarroUiana. She is, of course, Maxine Schaefer and this was 
the inaugural event sponsored by her Memorial Fund. 

Many wonderftil people have donated to this fiond, 
a portion of which was used to buy sixty copies of Alice for 
the reading. Janet Jurist arranged the event; Ellie Luchinsky 
held up illustrations during the reading; and Mmes. Moscatt, 
Croussouloudis, and Feldman were the library coordinators. 
I would personally like to thank everyone involved. In all, 
eighteen books were given away, leaving, of course, 42. 

The reading was very special to me because I am 
the daughter of Maxine and David Schaefer, and grew up 
bombarded with CarroUiana. Alice was all around me, on the 
shelves and walls of my family home. I also have such fond 
memories of my mother answering phone calls and letters for 
the Society almost every day, and of my being "volunteered" 
to stuff envelopes holding Knight Letters and books. 

I point to her hard work to show how this memorial 
meant so much to me and, even more importantly, would 
have to her. She would surely have appreciated not just the 
thought of it, but that it was focusing on children. I, too, now 
have kids of my own (whom I am trying to keep fi^om being 
overly bombarded) and they were deeply loved by Maxine. 
In fact, any time a child came to our home, he or she was 
likely to be given a keepsake Alice book or doll. Even today, 
her closet is filled with these "emergency" gifts. This memo- 
rial is so very fitting, and would be so dear to her heart. 

The Maxine Schaefer Memorial Fund committee is 
planning to have similar readings connected with future 
LCSNA gatherings, starting with our next one in Minneapo- 
lis. 

Thank you, everyone, for your support and your 
show of appreciation for a wonderftil woman, my mother, 
Maxine. 



F^ 



MIIK 




Sightings in Popular Culture 

"Hi! I'm Troy McClure. You might re- 
member me from such Driver's Ed films 
as 'Alice's Adventures through the 
Windshield Glass'" - The Simpsons, 
episode 9F 14, "Duff-less" 

Adam Gopnik's short story "The Chil- 
dren of the Party" in the New Yorker 
5/12/97, begins with the sentence, "No 
wise fish should go anywhere without 
a purpose, Clara Allison thought, star- 
ing sadly at the seafood sausage that 
had just been deposited on her plate." 

A Roz Chast cartoon in a recent New 
Yorker showed a man pulling up to a 
parking spot and looking at a sign de- 
claring '"Parking yesterday, parking to- 
morrow, but never parking today." 

Books 

CrazySexyCool, a group of photo- 
graphs of Hollywood actors and ac- 
tresses in provocatively hip poses, con- 
tains a photomontage of Drew 
Barrymore as Alice, blowing a smoke 
ring with her cigarette. Little, Brown and 
Company. 0-3 1 6-553530. You can see it 
at a "celebrity smoking sight" [boo, 
hiss.'f] at http.7/www. wfu.edu/~david/ 
drew/pictures/Modeling/alice-in- 
wonderland.jpeg. 

Nicholas and Marry Parry of The Tern 
Press in Shropshire, England have an- 
nounced a handmade fine press edition 
of AW. There are two deluxe copies at 
$1,350 with original watercolors, and 
regular copies are $350. Nicholas con- 
tributed the fifty original lighographs. 
You can order them through Joshua 
Heller Rare Books at P O Box 391 14, 
Washington DC 20016-9114, phone 
1.202.966.9411. 

Articles 

According to an article in The IVashing- 
ton Post's "Book World", reviewing 
Resurrection: The Struggle for a New 
Russia and Vodka, Tears and Lenin s 
Angel, Yuri Baturin, "a tough Kremlin 



aide usually described as Yeltsin's legal 
adviser. . .keeps TTLG on his desk 'as a 
guide to Russian politics.'" 

"Indexer nascitur, non fit" [an indexer 
is born, not made], an article by Au- 
gust Imholtz in The Indexer, Vol. 20 # 1 , 
April 1996, replies to Hans Wellisch's 
article "Lewis Carroll as Indexer" in a 
previous issue (Vol 1 8 #2, Oct. 1 992). It 
discusses Carroll's lifelong interest in 
indexing, including his humorous one 
to the Sylvie & Bruno books, and his 
letter registry, which foreshadows mod- 
em database theory, a concept explored 
by Fran Abeles. 

Cecil Adams has devoted a bit of space 
in his "Straight Dope" syndicated col- 
umn to Our Man of late. His April 16th 
piece took on The Riddle, but came away 
wdth only The Usual Suspects as an- 
swers. He followed up in late May with 
some new, not particularly interesting 
answers, and then proceeded to "dis" 
Richard Wallace and his Jack the Rip- 
per anagram theories, for which we are 
properly grateful. 

A recent Marilyn vos Savant's "Ask 
Marilyn" column in the redoubtable 
Parade magazine contained a letter 
about the "three liars" problem from 
Carroll's diaries [5/27/1894]. Her solu- 
tion used the names of the Three 
Stooges for the characters. 

"Decompositions and Reductions of 
Snarks" by Nedela and Skoviera, Jour- 
nal of Graph Theory, Vol. 22 #3, 1996, 
discusses Snarks, "nontrivial cubic 
graphs whose edges cannot be prop- 
erly colored by three colors" which were 
named, no surprise here, by Martin 
Gardner. 

Stephanie Stoffel saw an article in Hope 
magazine's May/ June 1 997 issue "which 
seems to exist for the purpose of print- 
ing good news", about a camp on 



Martha's Vineyard for disabled kids and 
adults called Camp Jabberwocky. It was 
founded in 1953 and uses Tenniel illus- 
trations for much of their signage. 

Academia 

Our inimitable Dr. August Imholz, Jr. 
delivered a talk, "Collecting Lewis 
Carroll in a Politically Correct Age" to 
the "Baltimore Bibliophiles" at Johns 
Hopkins on April 1 7th. 

"Down the Rabbit Hole with Alice, or 
Into the Mind and Books of Lewis 
Carroll", a talk by Dr. Sandor Burstein at 
the Mechanics Institute Library of San 
Francisco, June 26. 

"Pawn Alice: Her Moves in Wonderland 
and the Looking-Glass as a Reflection 
in Lewis Carroll's Developing Philoso- 
phy of Language", a Ph.D. thesis by 
Patricia Casey Sutcliffe at The Univer- 
sity of Texas at Austin (OCLC 28802879, 
1993) for Dr. Andre Lefevere and Dr. 
Katherine Arens. 

"The Cheshire Cat as Agent of Won- 
derland Hell", thesis written for a Se- 
nior Seminar also at U.T.A. for Profes- 
sor Klawitter by Maria N. Dach. 

Performances Noted in Passing 

7/2/96 AW, a concert work for dual-pi- 
anos by Homer Simmons at San Fran- 
cisco State University. 

2/7- 1 6/97 AW by the AUanta Ballet 

3/5 & 9/97 "Alice in Concert" (Elizabedi 
Swados: Music, Book & Lyrics) by the 
After Dinner Opera Company, 
Queensborough Community College, 
Bayside,NY. 

4/1 3/97 "A Mad Hatter's Tea Party" (die 
Monteverdi Players "Alice" with music 
by Nicholas Humez) Guilford Center, VT. 

5/17 & 18/97 "Alice" (Michael Lancy: 
Music, Book & Lyrics), San Joaquin 
(CA) Delta College. 

6/1 0/97 a costumed frmd-raiser called the 
"Mad Hatter's BaU" at the Brooklyn (NY) 
Botanic Garden. 



THE LEWIS CARROLL SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA 



KNIGHT LETTER 



NUMBER 55 SUMMER 1997 



6/14/97 AW: A California Artists Radio 
Theatre Production. Broadcast live on 
KPFK-FM from the Hollywood 
Roosevelt Cinegrill, music by David 
Pinto, with an outstanding cast of ra- 
dio, theater, and movie actors including 
John Astin, William Windom, and Louis 
Nye. Annie Rogers was Alice and the 
Royal Shakespeare Company's David 
Nye portrayed Lewis Carroll. 

Educatjonal software 

"Alice in Wonderland and The Wiz- 
ard of Oz" by Pelican/Toucan for 
Grades 1-4, Apple or IBM format. 
"Imagine the possibilities and the 
amusing stories that your students 
will create with this magical program. 
What if Dorothy had joined Alice at 
the Mad Hatter's tea party? Or how 
would Toto have reacted to the 
Cheshire cat?" 

Places 

Travelers in Cape May, New Jersey, 
looking for a Victorian B&D find/or a 
fine restaurant may wish to investi- 
gate the Carroll Villa Hotel 
( 1 .609.884.96 1 9) and its Mad Batter 
Restaurant ( 1 .609.884.5970). 

Art aod Artifacts 

An AW clock in sterling silver is pub- 
lished in an edition of 20 and is avail- 
able for $2,400 from [lie White Rabbit 
ui Camicl. CA. 1 .408.624.2556. 

An unabridged A W/TTLG read by Chris- 
topher Plummer (including the "Wasp 
in a Wig") from Audio Editions® Books 
on Cassette. $25. 1.800.231.4261. 

A fine AW "Children's Umbrella", 
whose panels are decorated with col- 
ored Tenniels adapted from the playing 



cards is available for $20 from the Art 
InstittJte of Chicago, 1 .800.621 .9337. 

"The Private World of Lewis Carroll", a 
video narrated by Mia Farrow and Tom 
Courtney, is available to our members 
for $30 plus $5 shipping and handling 
(normal price is $40) from Arthur Cantor 
Inc, 1 50 1 Broadway Suite 403, New York, 
NY 10036. 

Several 45 minute audio tapes of 
children's music composed and per- 




formed by Terry Grosvcnof will be of 
interest lo Ute parents among us. riie 
tape On the Wings of a Dragonfly con- 
tains "Father William' (»nd "The Wal- 
rus and the Carpenter" . Pun Songs for 
Tadpoles to Frogs includes "The Lob- 
ster Quadrille". To order, send an eMail 
to rick@niusic4children.com or piione 
1.401. 847.2524 or visii http://members. 
aol.com/rickgrosv/indcx.htm. 
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmiBmmmm 



An 1 8" AW birdbath sculpture is avail- 
able for $ 1 98 from Painting with Flow- 
ers in Port Washington, NY. 
1.516.883.4164. 

Southern Serenity has produced a se- 
ries of cast stone sculptures for your 
garden: an Alice Birdfeeder Sculpture 
($149). a Mad Hatter Sprinkler ($56), a 
Cheshire Cat Planter ($42), and/or a 
Queen of Hearts Sculpture ($56). Call 
1 .205.663.8789 or 1.888.226.4075 or visit 
http://wvvrw.soserenity.com/alice.html. 

The Smithsonian catalog is offer- 
ing a set of hand-painted 
polyresin tree ortuiments of five 
Alice characters for $40 apiece. 
1.800.322.0344. 

Chess Forum has three lovely 
chess sets: the "Alice in Wonder- 
land Hand Painted Set", "Alice in 
Wonderland" in raarble and resin, 
and i ewis Carroll". 2 1 9 Thomp- 
son St New York, NY 10012, or 
1 .800.393.4300 or cbesfomi ^oJinch. 
com or http://vvww rhapsody.com/ 
chessforum/mvlh.html . 

Enchanted Places Miniatures pro- 
duces ''fine animUion art sculp- 
tures: liny, exacting replicas of fa- 
vorite 1 Msney cliaracters. Sculpted 
in bronze by renowned miiiiaturcs 
artist, Robert Olszewski, then me- 
ticulously htind painted, these incred- 
ible little masterpieces may ( c appreci- 
ated iii their own right. They also make 
wonderful accompaniments to the ex- 
citing new 'Enchanted Places" series 
from the Walt Disney Classics Collec- 
tion." ITie characters can be found at 1 - 
800.396.5923, and their houses at http:/ 
/www.dgm-on! ine.com 'disney/minia- 
tures.htm or, pa-sumably, Disnt7 stores. 



For help in preparing this issue thanks are due to: Earl Abbe. I cslie Ailrn. Sandor Burstein, Johnna HurwiiA August 
Imholtz, Vito Lanza, Robert Mitchell, Lucille Posnei, Stephanie StolTel, Mark Stoll, and DiniUi llioro. 
Knight Letter is the official newsletter of the Lewis CiuroU Society of North America, h is published severnl times a year 
and is distributed fi-ee to all members. Subscriptions, business correspttndencc, and inquiries should be addressed to 
the Secretary, 18 Fitzharding Place, Owing Mills MD 21 117. Annual membership dues are U.S. $20 (regular) and $50 
(sustaining). Submissions and editorial correspondence should be sent to the Editor, Box 2006, Mill Valley CA 94942. 

President: Joel Birenbaum, joel.birenbaumfailucent.com Secretary: Ellie Luchinsky, eluchin@erols.com 

Editor: Mark Bui-stein, wrabbit@worldpassage.net 
Lewis Carroll Society of North America Home Page: http://www.lewiscarroll.org/ 
The Lewis Carroll Home Page: http://www.lewiscarroll.org/carroll.html